2019 RMP Aria / Cassomenos: Dixit Dominus (premiere)

Deakin Edge, Federation Square

The 13th RMP Aria Competition Final
featuring the world premiere of Stefan Cassomenos’ new oratorio Dixit Dominus, especially commissioned by the RMP for this event. 
Deakin Edge, Federation Square


Louis Hurley, tenor   (Winner)
James Emerson,  baritone  (Runner- Up)
Joshua Oxley,  tenor (3rd Prize and People’s Choice Award)
Charlotte Kelso, mezzo soprano  (Conductor’s Encouragement Award)
Hamish Gould,  countertenor 
Hew Wagner,  tenor 
Brianna Louwen, soprano

Michelle Ryan, soprano (Withdrew due to illness)
Michael Dimovsky, tenor Reserve Finalist  (Withdrew due to illness)

Andrew Wailes (Chair)
Sally-Anne Russell
Andrew Raiskums
Stefan Cassomenos


Michael Leighton Jones


PROGRAM:2019 Aria Poster with Contestants_Layout 1

Selected Oratorio Arias and Recitatives

The Finalists of the 2019 RMP ARIA will battle it out for the chance to win thousands of dollars worth of cash, professional photography packages, language coaching and various other prizes – as well as future engagements with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic.

Each singer will perform a short program of arias and recitatives from the world of oratorio, accompanied on piano by outstanding pianist and RMP Principal Accompanist Stefan Cassomenos. A distinguished panel of judges will decide over $5000.00 worth of cash prizes, as well as other awards including language coaching and professional photographic packages and future performance opportunities with the RMP.

At the end of the Final, RMP Chief Conductor Andrew Wailes will conduct the RMP Oratorio Festival Choir, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and soloists, in the world premiere performance of Dixit Dominus, a dynamic and spectacular new oratorio especially composed by Stefan Cassomenos. Inspired by the great oratorios of the baroque in structure, the piece is written for soprano and baritone soloists, semi-chorus, choir, chamber orchestra, piano and harpsichord.  This dramatic new setting is as striking as it is thought-provoking. Featuring virtuosic keyboard solos, intense choral writing and a driving rhythmic treatment of the traditional Latin text, the work examines some of the more controversial and contradictory passages contained within the Dixit Dominus (a setting of Psalms from the Latin Vulgate) and other passages of the Bible.

Soloists will include the composer Stefan Cassomenos on piano,  who will be joined by outstanding contemporary harpsichordist Peter de Jager, soprano Cassandra Wright and baritone Christian Smith. The premiere will be conducted by Andrew Wailes.

Tickets include a free champagne reception at the conclusion of the evening, where audience members have the chance to meet the finalists, adjudicators, orchestra, choir and conductor.

A gala event, not to be missed!

Andrew Wailes Conductor 

Cassandra Wright, soprano (2018 RMP Aria Winner)

Christian Smith, baritone  (2018 RMP Aria Runner-Up)

Stefan Cassomenos, official accompanist / pianist

Peer de Jager, harpsichord

RMP Oratorio Festival Choir

RMP Choir and Orchestra